Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia

23 Feb 2021  Tue

Diocletian was a Roman Emperor reigning from 284 to 305. Today on 23 February in the year 303, Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia, beginning eight years of Diocletianic Persecution.

Born on 22nd December, 244, to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a roman cavalry commander to Emperor Carus. His reorganization of the fiscal, administrative, and military machinery of the empire laid the foundation for the Byzantine Empire in the East and temporarily shored up the decaying empire in the West.

On 23 February 303, Diocletian ordered that the newly built church at Nicomedia be razed. He demanded that its scriptures be burned, and seized its precious stores for the treasury.[172] The next day, Diocletian's first "Edict against the Christians" was published.

Depicted here is an Antoninianus issued under his reign from Heraclea mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Diocletian facing right. The reverse of a coin engraved Emperor standing right, holding sceptre and receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter standing left, holding sceptre.

Image Source: wikipedia.org

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